Poland announces new plan to combat Covid-19 as cases rise

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As the pandemic situation in Poland worsens, the Polish Ministry of Health has outlined a new strategy to fight the virus.

As a part of the government’s measures to ensure Poland is prepared, Health Minister Adam Niedzielski announced an increase in the number of hospital beds available to Covid-19 patients. So far, 15,000 are available for those who require hospitalization. The need for the beds severely differs depending on the infection rates in different regions.

Coordinators in Polish municipalities will be even more responsible for maintaining spaces in hospitals so that patients will not have to be transported between hospitals due to lack of beds.

To further increase the number of available beds, a declaration of cooperation between the government and the country’s private healthcare system to join the fight against the virus will be signed. By Wednesday, a list of private hospitals will be created which will be responsible for creating new beds for Covid-19 patients.

Additionally, the government has prepared a plan which involves changing district hospitals into second-level Covid-19 hospitals. Due to this change, Poland’s hospital bed infrastructure will increase by 10,000 beds.

The ministry also intends to hire doctors from abroad to strengthen Poland’s healthcare system, while making sure that only the most qualified will be allowed to enter Poland’s health market.

Moreover, Niedzielski announced special allowances to medics who treat Covid-19 patients. All medics who will have to quarantine after helping fight the virus will receive full compensation during their isolation. Doctors, nurses and paramedics can count on having their basic pay doubled.

Medical staff throughout Poland will also receive assistance from the military which will relieve them from having to take swabs during coronavirus tests.

“Polish soldiers will be present in drive-thru testing points to replace medical staff. This is a very serious reinforcement which will help us use our staff more efficiently. We will be able to increase their numbers or extend working hours,” Niedzielski explained.

Title image: A man passing by a poster warning against neglecting COVID-19 symptoms, in Warsaw, Poland, on Friday, October 16, 2020. Poland is seeing a sharp rise in new infection cases, with over 7,700 new cases registered Friday and 132 deaths. The poster was put up by one recalling Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939, in the first weeks of World War II, AP.

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